The Henry Wine Group is a wine and spirits distributor with an excellent portfolio. Every couple of years, they give the trade and media an opportunity to taste a large sampling of their offerings. They call these events “Taste The World” and the most recent one was held on May 20th at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The lineup was huge [the tasting book was 218 pages], and I have long ago stopped attempting to taste as many wines as possible at these kind of mammoth tastings, preferring to focus on less quantity and more quality, spending some time to chat with the winery owner, winemaker or winery representative and learn more about the winery and the wines I am tasting.
A special treat for me was being accompanied by local Santa Clarita Valley wine [and guitar] legend Vic Herstein.
Some highlights for me were…
Winemaker Mike Sinor was pouring wines from Ancient Peaks and his own Sinor-LaVallee label. My favorites were:
Ancient Peaks Renegade 2011
Ancient Peaks Oyster Ridge 2010
Sinor-LaVallee Pinot Noir Talley-Rincon 2012
Sinor-LaVallee Pinot Noir Aubaine Vineyard 2011
It is always good to see Andrew Murray pouring his own wines. Really liked:
Andrew Murray Vineyards “Esperance” 2012 [Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre]
Andrew Murray Vineyards “Watch Hill Vineyard” Syrah 2012
I’ve been fond of the Dashe Cellars Zinfandels for a long time, although they may come as somewhat of a revelation for drinkers used to the higher octane versions of this varietal.
Dashe Zinfandel Todd Brothers Ranch – Alexander Valley 2011
Dashe Zinfandel Late Harvest – Dry Creek Valley 2012
As I mentioned above, I had the chance to hang out with Vic Herstein at this tasting. It was a great opportunity to taste the Alto Moncayo wines from Spain together, as he was the one who introduced them to me several years ago. All Garnacha [Grenache] and all excellent.
Alto Moncayo 2011
Other wines I recommend from the tasting:
Sailor’s Grave 2010 [Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec]
Blackbird Vineyards, Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2010
And while I didn’t spend much time in the Spirits section [see Eve’s article about that], I did have to try the grappa offerings from Oregon’s Clear Creek. Both the Muscat and Pinot Noir grappas were outstanding, as was their cassis liqueur.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting (http://evewine101.com/eveswine101consulting/). Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.